Evidence of Evolution

By Michael Windelspecht | Evolution from macro to micro - and everything in between!

Humans Were Not Smarter Than Neanderthals, We Simply Outlasted Them

Their fate could have been ours.<p>By the standards of the Paleolithic age, members of <i>Homo neanderthalensis</i> were the height of sophistication.<p>These …

Sex, disease, and extinction: what ancient DNA tells us about humans and Neanderthals

Three new studies uncover details about the sex lives of human ancestors, and the DNA modern humans inherited<p>Two new genetic analyses help explain the unexpected roles Neanderthals play in modern human life — influencing everything from hair color to mental health. The new research also adds to …

Anthropology

Ancient Viruses Are Buried in Your DNA

In July, scientists reported that a strange protein courses through the veins of pregnant women. No one is sure what it’s there for.<p>What makes this protein, called Hemo, so unusual is that it’s not made by the mother. Instead, it is made in her fetus and in the placenta, by a gene that originally …

Biology
Evolution

Yes, humans are still evolving. Here's how you can tell.

Even more evidence that we’re continuing to change.<p>The nice thing about bacteria is that they multiply really fast. This is inconvenient if they happen to infect, but useful if you want to see how evolution works. Put antibiotics on a Petri dish with enough bacteria, and a few days later you’ll …

Evolution

Aesthetic Evolution In The Animal World

At the heart of Richard O. Prum's new book <i>The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin's Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World — and Us</i> is a bold idea:<p>"... that animals are not merely subject to the extrinsic forces of ecological competition, predation, climate, geography, and so on that …

Art

Early humans and Neanderthals interbred much earlier than once thought

It’s a sex-laced mystery. If modern humans didn’t reach Europe until about 60,000 years ago, how has DNA from them turned up in a Neanderthal fossil in Germany from 124,000 years ago?<p>The answer seems to be that there was a previous migration of early humans — more than 219,000 years ago.<p>The …

Anthropology

In Neanderthal DNA, Signs of a Mysterious Human Migration

With fossils and DNA, scientists are piecing together a picture of humanity’s beginnings, an origin story with more twists than anything you would find at the movie theater.<p>The expert consensus now is that Homo sapiens evolved at least 300,000 years ago in Africa. Only much later — roughly 70,000 …

Evolution

Ancient humans may have been mothers to some Neanderthals earlier than we thought

The latest discovery adds another clue to the mystery of human and Neanderthal evolution<p>An early wave of modern human ancestors interbred with Neanderthals between 470,000 and 220,000 years ago, a new DNA discovery from an ancient Neanderthal thigh bone suggests. That’s <i>much</i> earlier than experts had …

Evolution

The Mystery of Homo naledi • Ricochet Science

A new human species possessing traits of both ancient hominids and modern humans has been found to have lived far more recently than scientists …

The Evolution of the Superbugs • Ricochet Science

In August 2016, a woman in her late 20s arrived in a hospital in Reno, Nevada, carrying a particularly deadly strain of the bacteria <i>Klebsiella</i> …

Humans Are Driving a New Burst of Evolution - Including Possibly Our Own

We're changing ourselves.<p>The unprecedented impact that humans are having on the planet is well known to us all. Scarcely a day passes by without a …

Ecology

Fossil of pregnant sea creature changes understanding of how reproductive system evolved

Fish-eating reptile Dinocephalosaurus, which lived about 245m years ago, gave birth to live babies rather than laying eggs<p>An extraordinary fossil unearthed in southwestern China shows a pregnant long-necked marine reptile that lived millions of years before the dinosaurs with its developing embryo, …

Paleontology

Finding the Speed of Evolution in a Study of Bird Beaks

When the ancestors of Darwin’s finches arrived on the Galápagos two million years ago, they gained access to a world of new morsels, untapped by other animals. In a relatively short period, 14 species of finches evolved, specializing in different diets through different beak shapes: short for …

Evolution

Early Meteorite Bits Reveal Clues About Solar System's Evolution

Many meteorites found on Earth are remnants of one titanic solar-system collision that took place more than 460 million years ago. But for the first …

Scientists Just Announced Our Best Shot at Ending Antibiotic Resistance to Date

A molecule that reverses antibiotic resistance.<p>Scientists have developed a molecule that reverses antibiotic resistance in multiple strains of …

Medicine

What These 3.66 Million-Year-Old Footprints Tell Us About Our Human Ancestors

Newly discovered footprints of five human ancestors that roamed the Earth 3.66 million years ago suggest that members of the <i>Australopithecus …

Evolution

Proteins Solve a Hominin Puzzle

<b>Around 40,000 years ago</b>, modern humans made their way into Europe, sweeping through the continent and, eventually, driving to extinction our close …

Our First Date Out of Africa?

When researchers looked at the genome of a Neanderthal from Siberia, they saw DNA that did not belong.<p>“No matter how we tried to fix it, it didn’t go …

Caesarean births 'affecting human evolution'

<b>The regular use of Caesarean sections is having an impact on human evolution, say scientists.</b><p>More mothers now need surgery to deliver a baby due to their narrow pelvis size, according to a study.<p>Researchers estimate cases where the baby cannot fit down the birth canal have increased from 30 in …

Pregnancy

Why Very Smart People Are Happiest Alone

In a just-published study about how our ancestral needs impact our modern feelings, researchers uncovered something that will surprise few among the …

A Groundbreaking 30-Year Old Evolutionary Experiment Is Still Going Strong

Early in his career, the decorated biologist Richard Lenski thought he might be forced to evolve. After his postdoctoral research grant was canceled, …

Evolution

Ebola Evolved Into Deadlier Enemy During the African Epidemic

The Ebola epidemic that tore through West Africa in 2014 claimed 11,310 lives, far more than any previous outbreak. A combination of factors contributed to its savagery, among them a mobile population, crumbling public health systems, official neglect and hazardous burial practices.<p>But new research …

Biology

Cultivated Carp 'Reverse Evolve,' Grow Scales Back

Undoing hundreds of years of work by hungry monks<p>The dense protective layer of scales covering the body of the common carp makes the fish a pain to eat. But centuries ago, clever European monks managed to breed this quality out, creating a cultivated variety with few to no scales. They called it …

Evolution

Mysterious Branch of Humanity Possibly Discovered

A group of humans migrating out of Africa some 40,000 to 70,000 years ago mingled with an as-yet unknown branch of humanity, researchers say.<p>Modern …

Gonorrhea Is Becoming Untreatable, U.N. Health Officials Warn

We are running out of ways to treat gonorrhea, the World Health Organization announced today.<p>The U.N. health agency released new guidelines warning doctors that it no longer recommends an entire class of antibiotics, quinolones, because quinolone-resistant strains of the disease have emerged all …

What do aliens look like? The clue is in evolution

Speculating about what aliens look like has kept children, film producers and scientists amused for decades. If they exist, will extra terrestrials …

Evolution

Earth - Our weird lack of hair may be the key to our success

Look closely at your friends, family and even strangers. Spot anything strange?<p>Ignore any large noses or unusually-shaped brows. Instead, look at their hair – or rather, the lack of it.<p>It might not seem strange, because we are used to having relatively little hair covering our bodies. But when we …